Mets All-Star closer Jeurys Familia is facing a simple assault charge in New Jersey. Familia is married with one child. His wife is his long-term partner Bianca Rivas, the family lives in an apartment in the town of Fort Lee, close to New York City. On October 31, Familia was charged with simple assault after an “incident of domestic violence” occurred at his home. He’s accused causing “bodily injury to another.” The victim’s name is redacted in court papers.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The New York Mets Said in Brief Statement That They Are ‘Monitoring’ the Situation
In a brief statement, the New York Mets said that they are “monitoring” the situation with Familia. The documents in the case, which you can read below, refer to Familia as “Jeury F. Mojica.” He’s charged with a disorderly offense of simple assault. The complaint says the incident occurred in an apartment in Fort Lee, New Jersey, on October 31 at 2:22 a.m.
NorthJersey.com reports that Fort Lee Police Chief Keith Bendul refused to identify those involved in the incident. Officers believed that “domestic violence had occurred.” Familia posted bail, which was set at $1,500 and was released. He agreed to not have any contact with the victim as a condition.
2. Rivas & Familia’s Son Was Born While He Was on the Pitcher’s Mound Against Atlanta
Famously, Familia and Rivas’ son, Jeurys Jr, was born while his dad was on the mound for the Mets in a a game against the Braves. Familia held on to win the game for the Mets, 5-3. ESPN reported at the time that Familia went straight from the game at Citi Field to be with his new son in Hackensack, New Jersey, missing the birth by around 20 minutes.
The network added that the closer didn’t take family leave as a result of his new son. Familia said at the time, “I’m feeling great to be a father and blessed at the same time.”
In 2014, Mets star Daniel Murphy was criticized for taking paternity leave and missing opening day. The MLB report on Familia’s son noted that his teammate, Ruben Tejada, did take a three day paternity break of three days on the same week.
3. Rivas Says on Facebook That She Went to University in China
According to her Facebook page, Rivas is from Clifton, New Jersey, where she graduated from Clifton High School. In her About section, Rivas says she studied for a time at Sichuan University in China.
After Familia set a Mets record with his 44th save on September 1, Rivas wrote on Facebook:
What god imposes no man can dispose of it and you have proven it. BEYOND PROUD OF YOU; because I know your hard work and efforts are not to be better than anybody but to better yourself each day and because I’m at witness of what has resulted in your success.
May god continue blessing our family and keep you healthy so you can keep working on what you love; at your best. Thank you Lord, Thank you baby for making Us so proud.
4. Familia Was One of the Faces of the MLB’s Anti-Domestic Violence Campaign
In October 2016, Familia fronted an anti-domestic violence campaign for Major League Baseball, according to ESPN. Speaking in Spanish, he says, “I am not a fan of domestic violence.”
The video was removed shortly after news of Familia’s arrest emerged. You can still watch it above.
The campaign is being sponsored by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and New York City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. She said at the launch of the initiative:
I don’t want to be complicit by being silent, and that’s why I feel it’s important to speak out about it.
You’ve got these sports figures that have incredible reach and notoriety and influence and they should be held to a high standard.
They shouldn’t get a pass because of who they are and the standing they have, and how we handle this sets a tone for how we handle this on a daily basis.
Familia’s teammate Jose Reyes faced domestic violence charges in November 2015 while he was playing for Colorado. As a result, Reyes was banned for 51 games at the start of the 2016 season. Those charges were later dropped.
5. Familia Built a House for His Parents in the Dominican Republic in 2015; Rivas Picked the Furniture
Newsday reported in the summer of 2015 that Familia had begun building a new house for his parents in the Dominican Republic. The piece remarks on Familia’s popularity in his homeland, where he grew up aspiring to be a basketball player. It also notes that in the designing of the new home, Rivas had been put in charge of picking the furniture.